The meeting in progress.
PHILIPSBURG--The World Bank will be operating from a local St. Maarten office by the end of June 2023. The local office in St. Maarten will facilitate decision making and communication between government, and by extension the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB), and the World Bank, while also strengthening St. Maarten’s position within the region as a hub.
Only Haiti, Guyana, and Jamaica have regional offices.
The exact location of the new office was not specified in a press release issued on Thursday, in which a meeting between Trust Fund officials and the Council of Ministers (COM) was reported on.
Programme Manager of the St. Maarten Trust Fund Program of the Caribbean Country Management Unit, Toyin Jagha, accompanied by NRPB Director Claret Connor, and delegation members Staciann Cunningham and Carla Bridglal, met with the Council of Ministers on Thursday, May 25, as part of the Trust Fund Program Management Mission to St. Maarten.
Ministers and Trust Fund representatives.During the meeting with the COM, the Trust Fund Projects' significant achievements were recognised, which includes the Enterprise Support Project (ESP), the Income Support and Training Project (ISTP), and the increased funding for both St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) and the Emergency Recovery Project (ERP-1).
The World Bank is also preparing to conclude the approval process for three additional significant projects for St. Maarten, it was stated in the release. These pertain to wastewater, housing, and mental health.
Jagha said St. Maarten is the first country to have a mental health project approved. Formalisation will take place by the end of the second quarter, while the wastewater project is expected towards the end of the year and housing for the first quarter of 2024.
Furthermore, the Council of Ministers was informed of new communication areas and channels which will emphasize the benefits of the Trust Fund for Sint Maarten's inhabitants and enterprises, as well as the experiences of project leaders throughout the process.
The mission that started on May 15 and concludes today, Friday, May 26, includes meetings with numerous stakeholders and partners to develop and strengthen communication and networks.
St. Maarten has the second largest portfolio after Haiti and is the first country to execute an agreement without being a member of the World Bank Group.
The Council of Ministers thanked the Programme Manager for the positive updates and said it looks forward to continuing strengthening collaboration with the World Bank in the best interest of St. Maarten.